Gluten-Free Recipe: Crusted Tilapia & Mango-Avocado Salsa

Written by Lindsay Levine

One of my favorite meals is a crispy, crusted fish, and I used to be delighted when I'd go out to a restaurant and see it on the menu. That is, until the day I educated myself and looked up the nutrition facts of a certain macadamia nut-crusted mahi mahi. Aside from being startled by the amount of fat and calories in one dish, I became seriously determined to revamp this entree and make it lighter AND delicious!

After much recipe testing, I finally came up with the perfect solution: light and flaky tilapia coated in ground flaxseeds and (cooked) quinoa, then sauteed in coconut oil. The flax and quinoa crust creates the perfect crunch, and the coconut oil makes it taste summery and tropical. Top it with my fruity mango-avocado salsa and this is your ticket to an exciting, healthy, and satisfying dinner!

While I may be a bit biased, I think this recipe beats any of those restaurant entrees I used to order. Plus, knowing how nutritious each ingredient is makes it all the more satisfying! (For tips on buying the safest and most sustainable seafood, check out the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch.)



  • 2 tilapia fillets - cut in half lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxmeal / flaxseeds
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Mango-Avocado Salsa:

  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/3 cup diced mango
  • 1/3 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
  • 1 diced shallot
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Salt and pepper

Serves 3.


First, dip your tilapia fillet (both sides) in the ground flaxmeal. Next, dip it quickly into the whisked eggs, and then into the cooked quinoa. Make sure the quinoa is room temperature. Press the quinoa into the tilapia to make sure it sticks.

Heat your coconut oil on the stove, and once it's hot and liquidy, add the tilapia to the pan at medium-high heat. You should get a nice sizzle when you start cooking it.

Cook for about 4 minutes on each side. You'll know when to flip the tilapia when the quinoa looks browned and crispy.

Since all fillets vary in size, you can cut into the center of the tilapia to see if it is ready; it should be nice and flaky inside.

Add salt and pepper to each side of fillets. Remove from pan and add your mango-avocado salsa right on top.


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